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Why do some people have to work at being good?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Scarlet Pimpernel, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
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    Some people have to work hard at being good while others seem to display an innate goodness appearing to be predisposed to good and religiousity like Mother Terera or the Saintly Souls who do it for goodness sake. Some people try to be good but fail even after trying, yet some are good without trying it seems?
    I came to learn that no one asked my father to do nitnem,but when he was just five he started asking his mum to learn from the sant how to do paath and since then he never sets an alarm, it's second nature to him. He started waking early to do paath as a small child with no coaxing whatsover and when he tried to instruct my children they showed no interest in praying much less rising early to do so, this reminded me of why the Greeks thought of enthusiasm as a God. I wish I did not have to remind myself or make an effort to set the alarm and conciously try to make my Self do it , I do it because I know I should.He does it because he has almost a divine enthusiasm, sort of a deep instinct to do it.He seems to know what is right naturally and does it, while I have to think about what is right and sometimes still fail to do it.I'm talking about the subtle difference from the one who does nitnem or good deeds because he is told that he must do them and the one who being too young to discern or oblivious to doctrine somehow starts doing what he is supposed to?
     
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  3. findingmyway

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    Sounds like he has found a connection with Naam and therefore feels pleasure in what he does. If you are forcing the connection rather than feeling it, the same tasks that give your father happiness become a chore for you. That is what I perceive from your post :whatzpointkudi:
     
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  4. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Way Ji thanks for posting, I thought you were avoiding me ,your perception is good but I never felt it a chore,I just felt it a duty to do sadhana because it tells us in Gurbani to do it,but his sadhana started so young it was almost as if he was a child just copying the village sant and now his state of being is altered and he knows unequivocally what the right thing to do is.
     
    #3 Scarlet Pimpernel, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Three days ago last week ekdn i was invited by the chief monk of the Sri lanka Vihara - one of KL's largest Buddhist Temples for some help on their ongoing EDUFair project whereby they provide free books uniforms shoes etc to poor children. The Monk was very enthusiastically telling me about "true" stories he had been told....i will just quote one. Its about a soldier in Taiwan who bought a dog his company had brought for slaughter. This soldier paid his entire monthly allowance to rescue the dog which later turned out to be pregnanat as well. Long story short, a few months later while they were marching to the "front", another soldier insisted on taking his place at the front of the line..and that soldier was hit by a shell and died. The monk told the soldier the good deed about the dog saved him. No doubt the story is "true" ( in the sense that it happened and all) BUT theres no proof of any connections between saving the dog and misisng death by shelling..thats is merely conjecture. I was then taken to the temple library and saw that almost all the books therewere about simialr true stories...the Buddhist monks were telling people to do good to get good.. and uisng these types of tales which to me sounded ???? unconvincing reason to do good....GOOD emerges from Good naturally....Dya..compassion is not all about killing and blood only....
     
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  6. Ishna

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    I was having a disagreement with a Muslim online about something in Islam, and got even more frustrated when he said "I wasn't going to come back and tell you this but so I'm not deemed as irresponsible on the day of judgement I will tell you".

    I said "so you're not replying to me for the good of it or educate people, but only to save your own soul on judgement day??"

    It is very rare to find someone who will do a good thing for the sake of doing a good thing -- most everyone wants to get something good back for it. I used to make the argument that the mormons who came to by door on Sunday were doing it because they want to save souls. My husband pointed out they're only doing it to save their own!
     
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  7. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    We are all different, my perception of prayer and the praise of god, is that god himself does not need this praise, or the prayer, I do not think god is pleased if you pray and praise him, or angry if you do not,. My understanding is that sikhs pray and praise and for themselves, ie, they are so happy to have a connection, that they have to pray, as a lover in the early stages of love constantly thinks of the adored, sings songs, writes poems, thus, the sikh who truly has this connection is eager to show love, adoration, praise, in order to express the happiness of the connection,.

    Sinnerji, I admire you hugely for your actions, I hope one day you feel the same way as your dad, and as someone that does not praise or remember god, purely because I do not have the connection your dad does, I am not sure whether the time is better spent in attempting to get the same connection as your dad, or attempting to emulate the end result of that connection, but only you know that.

    My own view is that knowledge, information, discipline may assist me in that connection, together with a bit of faith, otherwise , for me anyway, it is a bit like being in love with someone, but that love being a bit of a chore. But even then, you cannot force yourself to love something or someone no matter how beautiful they are, or how good it could be for you,

    I would like to think that when my time comes, it just flows

    However veerji, I admire you for wanting to emulate your father, and for the time and effort you clearly put in in trying to achieve this
     
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  8. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Harry Ji My father was just the example but I see in this world people who struggle with addiction or bad habits like watching porn etc and others who seem to have a wholesome aspect to their being.It is hard to believe Mother Teresa ever struggled to make herself good it's as if she was born with goodness.
     
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  9. Ishna

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    I think we all struggle with doing good for goodness sake and doing good as a duty. Some of us can hide our unwillingness (unwantingness?) better than others. Maybe it's an acceptance thing? You accept that to do good is your duty? Doing it for duty's sake has to be better than doing it for one's own self, right?

    In fact, can you ever WANT to do good just for the sake of doing good if you don't get something out of it? Is it not "better" to do the good that no one wants to do because it's your duty - because it's right? Not for any personal gain, money or sense of fulfillment or pride? Just a sense of having done your duty? I dunno, just thinking out loud.

    I do admire your father's dedication, though! Good on him, and good on you for noticing it in a positive way.
     
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  10. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Isi Misi Ji
    I think dedication and enthusiasm, like faith ,are God given, my dads brother is the exact opposite of my dad,my children don't seem to be religious minded yet, thats not to say they are not good ,one is very good like his mum and ones a devious sod like me! I heard on the radio that George Gently the detective is good without working at being good and that prompted the post.It made me start thinking about disposition and innate traits.
     
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  11. Harry Haller

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    On a long drive, I asked my dad whether he had the same urges as me, he replied that he did not, he was never driven to drink, women etc, he loves my mum, he is a good dad and a good husband, without any effort at all!

    I asked him if he was ever curious, even a bit, about the life I had led and what I had learnt from it, he said, no, he didnt need to stick his hand in a fire to know it would hurt.

    Maybe these people have a different karma sinnerji, it does beg the question though, that if it is that easy for them, and it is not that easy for us, we are trying to ape natural goodness rather than just keep learning, maybe the only way to sachkhand is not to be that bothered about getting there, maybe the only way to know god is to not want to know him, I think some of us have to accept that that route is not open to us in this lifetime, and even then, it is not our choice, I think, maybe, even if I spent the rest of my life grasping the bare basics, and living by them, that would be better than lying to myself and to others about what I feel in my heart, I don't think this was ever meant to be a battle, and I think anyone who feels it is a battle has lost already,

    Maybe this lifetime is for my dad and yours sinnerji, maybe our time is next time
    just my own thoughts
     
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  12. Arvind

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    japji Sahib says... Ikna hukami bakhshish ikk hukami sada bhavayiye
     
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  13. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Harry Veer Ji,Arvind Ji might have a point but it also says in japji Sahib that he who is devoted to the naam saves not just himself but many many more.All we need to do is perhaps hold onto their coat tails then.The question really is can goodness or religiousity be cultivated to any extent or is it given solely by grace. Can one engage some dormant reserve for goodness which is lying undisturbed and is that done by grace, by concious effort or both?
     
  14. Annie

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    I'm pretty sure people can change with conscious effort or experience. Every once in a great while we hear of it happening with former gang members, or parents who have to mature for the sake of their children.
     
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  15. Ishna

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    If you're like me and not that good with your understanding in Punjabi, here's the English of what Arvind ji posted:

    ਇਕਨਾ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਬਖਸੀਸ ਇਕਿ ਹੁਕਮੀ ਸਦਾ ਭਵਾਈਅਹਿ
    Iknā hukmī bakẖsīs ik hukmī saḏā bẖavā▫ī▫ah.
    Some, by His Command, are blessed and forgiven; others, by His Command, wander aimlessly forever.

    Get the rest here: http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=1&g=1&h=0&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0
     
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    #14 Ishna, Sep 8, 2011
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  16. Ishna

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    I agree with Annie ji. You reap what you sow, and in this life too! I think grace is separate from hukam. Hukam is linked to the process of sow/reap whereas grace is outside that process.

    They say following the path of Sikhi is finer than a hair and sharper than a blade? So it's not meant to be easy. I guess your folks have a fine sense of balance. :grinningkudi:

    Back in February, a colleague of mine who was super dedicated to her work passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her late 30s. I went to her funeral with lots of coworkers. It was only at the funeral that I heard about all her extra curricular activities -- she would cook for so many people, was constantly active in her church, was there when anyone needed her, was a pillar in her family -- even her pastor was crying trying to deliver her eulogy!

    And I thought about everything she did with her time, for other people, and I felt really pathetic for being so lazy! It's all I can do to cook my own dinner and go to Gurdwara on Sunday yet it seemed every moment of her time was occupied with caring for other people. Then she got really sick and died a couple of months after finishing her degree... go figure! And she was still trying to work from her hospital bed!!

    I think as humans we're all different so some of us will be really good at math, some will write movie scripts, others will cultivate the land, others will pilot A380s, others will be office assistants like moi, others will sacrifice their lives to the service of others like Mother Teresa. There is wide variety in creation. Some people are good at football from the womb, others have to spent a career trying to get perfect. Regular sadhana is probably a skill developed over time with effort for some people. Being "good" as in good deeds might be something different.

    Just how "good" does someone have to be to be a "good" Sikh, anyway?
     
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  17. Lee

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    Ishna Ji,

    It is a strange concept, aulturism.

    I belive that those of us with religious faith are somewhat selfish. I mean we are concerned with the fate of our souls.

    Honestly, and I guess it sounds hard, but I really don't care about your soul, your relationship with God, I'm too caught up with mine!

    It's about free will. I look upon it as Gods greatest of gifts to us. The freedom to choose, the freedom to choose to know God or not.

    This is a core belife of mine, and so if a person chooses the atheist rroute, then that is their choice, gareented tyem by God. Who then am I to gainsay their divine choice?

    In answer to the OP's questuion though.

    It's partly a physical thing, and partly an upbringing thing.

    The human brain, is weird thing, no two of us are exactly alike, heheh which is why no two of us will agree exactly, even if we both practice the same faith for example.

    Morality though, does seem to me to be inbuilt, we are I think normaly moraly good creatures. It seems the key may well be empathy, and selflessness.




     
  18. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
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    Isna Ji That would make a good new thread Does Hukam equal Good Will and in that case all we have to do is invoke Gods Good Will.Rather than the theory it is fixed forever.A good Sikh would be someone who does good but in a disinterested way and has lost himSelf ,his identity,his everything and realised that the Truth is there is only One Good and all other good is it's reflection.
     
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  19. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    I do not mean to come full circle here, but you mean the best sikh is an atheist with a sikh outlook on living, and then if enlightenment comes, it comes?
     
  20. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Harry Veer Ji, A Sikh cannot be atheist he has to have the belief in One God that is essential.But he should have no pride and become nothing then he will realise if lucky,while you see others you are being decieved, as they are actually you, thats why when you do good, it makes you feel good ,as Selfless service is to serve OneSelf.
     
  21. Harry Haller

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    It all depends on your ultimate goals I suppose, it is essential for a sikh to believe in god for his own redemption, to save himself, and as Leeji stated, that relationship with god, and the concern about each individuals soul, to some sikhs, outweighs everything else in its importance. We place a lot of weight on loss of pride and the becoming of nothing, I feel this is a very dangerous road to travel. I do not believe that sikhism wants us to vanquish pride, or become nothing, I think these are ultimate goals that serve no other purpose than the aversion to pride.

    Pride is to say 'I am better than you', Aversion is to say 'You are better than me', humility is to say 'no one is better, we are all individuals, and I am best at being me, and you are best at being you',

    Do you know one of the ways to get more of something, whilst having no reliance on it, to be satisfied with what you have, and not chase the dragon? , to stop looking for it!

    I think if you carry out every action, and every thought, on the basis that is being noted down somewhere for final analysis and eventual enlightenment, than this is not living, life becomes another exam, a test to pass, the enlightenment test, and all the time life is rushing past, I worry about the desire to better ourselves, stops us living. Some might say this post is a step backwards for me, I disagree, this is not something we can just play at, this is very real, and it is happening here, and right now, and you either have to give it your best in the right direction, but as you, in all your honesty, or carry on making the same mistakes, and live out your enlightened state in forums!

    Ugly ducklings do not change into swans by thinking about it, or meditating, or prayer, one day it just happens, normally when the duckling is ready for life as a swan, with us, it could take lifetimes, we just need to be prepared, packed, and ready, instead of wasting time dreaming of life as a swan, we must also enjoy life as a duckling
     
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